tv John King USA CNN September 14, 2011 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT
beyonce immortalized in the wax. that exhibit will be complete once they sculpt the girls from destiny's child. susan boyle is here. and piers morgan started as her intern. and here's justin bieber. he appears to have frightened his figure. my favorite likeness, the one that captures the intangible quality of the man himself, should be no surprise, the one, the only larry king. take a good look, artisans and sculptors. that's how it's done. i can't get over that monkey. for me, i will forever be grateful for the people at madam tussauds. i hope you visit them when you are in new york. and say hello to me when you see me, wax and otherwise, on the rid dick list. that's it for me. john king usa starts right now. good evening, everyone, tonight rare good news for
president obama in the polls as he warms to a jobs fight with republicans, the new numbers show big support nationwide when the president says this -- >> if you want construction workers back on the work site, pass this bill. if you want teachers back in the classroom, pass this jobs bill. >> but there's bad news for the president, too, and lots of it. for starters, democrats lose a new york congressional seat the party has held it for 90 years. and the republican winner predicts it's just a down payment. >> i am telling you, i am the messenger. heed us. this message will resound for a full year. it will resound into 2012. >> that's hardly the only headache for the obama re-election team. also of note, your collective answer to the question that doomed the last one-term democratic incumbent. >> are you better off than you were four years ago? >> we begin, though, on capitol hill with the congressional investigation in to a big government loan award to a clean energy company that is now bankrupt and under investigation by the fbi.
solyndra is the company's name. here are some pictures of president obama visiting the solyndra plant. that's may 2010, eight months after the federal assistance was awarded. the company collapsed two weeks ago, leaving taxpayers liable for a whopping $535 million loan. one of its biggest investors is george kaiser who helped raise as much as $100,000 for the obama 2008 campaign. the white house said it did nothing wrong and when the government invests in emerging technologies, it's inevitable some companies will fail, but some republicans see it differently, very differently. they say the bush administration was skeptical about solyndra's viability, and now have e-mails from obama administration officials suggesting the loan was rushed under white house pressure despite appeals that it was, to quote one of those e-mails, again, this is from an obama administration official, quote, not ready for prime time. to critics, the white house's handling of the solyndra loan violates this pledge candidate obama made again and again in 2008.
>> i am going to fight as hard as i can over the next 70 days to make clear to the american people that they deserve a president and a white house that is fighting for them, that's not fighting for the special interests, it's not fighting for the banks and the oil companies and the well connected. but it's fighting for you! >> at a minimum, the white house has some explaining to do. at first, it said it had no involvement in pushing the loan to the finish line. but e-mails subpoenaed by the committee show top white house aides, including former white house chief of staff rahm emanuel did get involved, asking, for example, if the white house could do anything to, quote, help speed along on the omb side. the response, quote, i would prefer that this announcement be postponed, but the announcement went forward. vice president biden participated with great fanfare. >> so important we invest in solyndra and investing in what solyndra is doing.
>> now, congress wants to see if undue political pressure was applied and find out why warning signs about the company were overlooked or played down. >> in the time you've been there, you became aware of this, did you begin to address these issues with solyndra to say show me the money? >> we talked with -- staff talked with the company on a regular -- >> i really want you to stop throwing everybody else under the bus. i hear you throwing all your staff under the bus. i want to know, you're in charge, and you say it's everybody else's fault but you. >> the man heading that investigation is the energy and commerce committee chairman fred upton. we spoke a short time ago. mr. chairman, i want to get into the details in a second, but i want to set the threshold question, is it your question whether political contributions had an influence here or is your bigger question whether the administration should have seen a flashing light saying this company was in trouble and not giving them the money? >> all of the above. from the way that i understand it, the bush administration said
there's not enough evidence for this thing to move forward. and they said that in early january of '09 before president obama took office. six days after he takes office, they begin to reignite this whole episode. we have now seen the e-mails saying this is not ready for prime time, you know, what needs to happen? as our committee began to investigate the whole scenario, they then began to restructure the loan, which, by the way, is in violation of the law and because the law clearly says that the taxpayers -- if one of these companies goes belly up, the taxpayer comes first, not last. and so literally, as we begin the investigation, they restructure the whole thing and the taxpayer ends up last, so not only do we have 1,100 people lose their job, the taxpayers lose maybe more than half a billion dollars. >> all right, let me -- >> and never ready for prime time is what their own internal memos were saying. >> all right. excuse me for interrupting, sir.
let's get back to the questions in order then. you said all of the above. saying perhaps politics and ka pain contributions play a role. that's a big thing to say. we can have a question that they made a bad judgment but what's the evidence that they were influenced by campaign contributions or politics of any kind? >> well, we'll see where the investigation takes us. we know mr. kaiser was a major bundler for the obama administration. the records show he was at the white house a good number of times when this thing was proceeding again. we'll have the executives from the company, they've agreed to come testify next week for the oversight subcommittee friday. they'll be sworn in, as all witnesses are, and we'll see where this takes us, but i think right now you have to look at all options are on the table as to how did this proceed and how did the taxpayer lose literally half a billion dollars? >> i want to read from one of the e-mail exchanges that has people curious and some people suspicious of whether the white house was trying to help a donor. this is an e-mail exchange,
august 31, the special assistant to the then-chief of staff rahm emanuel noted the vice president's announcement at solyndra, the vice president was planning to go for a trip and asked whether, quote, there is anything we can help speed along on the omb side. the chief of staff's office saying can we help speed the rocess up? how is that any different? i bet your office from time to time has called whether it's the small business administration or the veterans administration to help a constituent, the bureaucracy is gummed up, speed this up. >> when you're looking at $535 million, shouldn't someone be asking the question is this viable or not, particularly when the administration itself said, do you know what, if thing goes forward, they could be out of cash by september of 2011. that was two years -- a year and a half before september 2011 came about. their own -- own stuff that they had showed that this was not perhaps going to be a viable company. why then are they speeding
forward? why are they change -- or going against what the law says in terms of restructuring to try and push this before the evidence is there? we've seen evidence that they knew that, in fact, it cost $6 per panel and they were selling them for $3. who makes money that way? the taxpayer loses. >> we've dealt with the politics question.,but i just want to ask you clearly because people watching at home, you say want to find out and bring in the witnesses. as we speak today, you have zero evidence of wrongdoing, correct? you just have suspicions? >> we tried to get the documentation early on. we scheduled hearings and the administration literally didn't show up. they promised us that they were going to provide documents. they never came. finally, we resorted to the last resort and that was a subpoena, and in mid-july we served a. on the administration. it still took more than a month to get a lot of the stuff that was there, and as we're
examining now, a lot of the stuff that we finally got, we're now finding these e-mails that nobody knew about before. so, we're going to see exactly where this takes us. how does this thing get approved? and how -- who made the decision to restructure the loan so that, in fact, at the end of the day because they did go belly up, in direct contradiction to the energy policy act of 2005, did someone make the decision to put the taxpayer last instead of first when they filed chapter 11? >> as you know, some of the democrats on your committee say this is an overzealous republican majority trying to embarrass the president and trying to advance some of your own policy decisions. listen to your colleague, ed markey, democrat of massachusetts. >> the majority has chosen to politicize this program and it is attempting to discredit clean energy the same way they have tried to do -- to climate science. it is that simple. that simple. >> is it that simple? >> this has nothing to do with climate science.
this has everything to do with are we going to support a company that is actually going to be able to pay the money back to the taxpayer. i support renewable energy. we had a key vote earlier this summer. i was -- i was a yes vote, it passed by two votes. this is -- appears to be when the administration's documents themselves show that it's not viable, it's not ready for prime time, it's -- they're going to run out of cash by september of 2011, who in their right mind would support them a half a billion dollar loan that they know may never get paid back, and now for these unfortunate 1,100 souls that worked there, they're left with absolutely nothing at the end of the day. >> the white house press secretary says this is what happens. this is how business works. you invest in ten companies, one or two of them might fail. >> well, when they have the evidence to show that it's not going to succeed, why does someone push the button and move ahead? and was it just because it was a campaign donor? we'll find out.
>> what do you think? >> i don't know. we'll find out. we're going to wait for all the evidence to come in. >> chairman upton, appreciate your time tonight. >> thanks. still to come, another day, another 2012 battleground state. north carolina this time as president obama plugs his jobs bill. >> there may be people whose refrain is, no, we can't. but i believe, yes, we can. and next, the stunning upset in a new york city congressional district and what it does and doesn't tell us about the landscape for 2012. [ male announcer ] what if we told you that cadillac
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republicans are downright giddy tonight over a stunning upset in a congressional district held by democrats since 1920. republican bob turner not only won but won big in the district last represented by anthony weiner who, of course, resigned in disgrace after admitting inappropriate online relationships with several women. geraldine ferraro also once represented the congressional district, and given that the democrats held the seat for 90 years it's hard to argue with turner's take on the results. >> we've been told this is a referendum, and we're ready to say, mr. president, we're on the wrong track.
>> so, let's take a closer look at just what we're talking about. here's the state of new york. the district down here. in new york city you see manhattan over there, this district has brooklyn and queens, let's take a closer look now. in the november 2010 midterm, let me close that down for you, anthony weiner, remember he just resigned, he got 69% of the vote, 61-39. that was last november. what happened last night, 54 for turner, 46% for his democratic opponent scion of a big political family. this is not a strong district for president obama, 55% of the vote. john kerry at about the same four years before that. here's the big thing that makes you jump. remember, the republican won this district. look at the voter registration. look at the voter registration. even if you add in the conservatives to the republicans, 3-1 voter advantage for the democrats and yet they lost. just one special election but to lose in the heart of one of america's most democratic cities
and lose by eight points is a stunning rebuke to president obama and the democrats and an embarrassment for the man who hopes to lead the democrats back to a house majority, congressman steve israel also of new york heads the democratic congressional campaign committee. congressman, you are charged with getting the democrats in majority, getting the gavel back in nancy pelosi's hands, if you can't win in the heart of new york city, how are you going to win in colorado, in rural michigan, across the midwest and in the south? >> well, the same things were asked of the republicans when we won a special election in one of the most republican districts in the united states in upstate new york. look, the fact of the matter is that they stole one from us in downstate new york and it's not the end of the world for us just as we stole one from them in upstate new york and it wasn't the end of the world for them. special elections are not predictive, john. let me give you one statistic. in 2006 we lost every single competitive special election and democrats won the house of representatives. in 2010, we won every single competitive special election and we lost control of the house of the representatives. they are moments in time. they are not predictive of
trends. >> you don't think this means anything then, just one loss even though democrats have held this seat for 90 years? >> look, it was a tough loss. you know, i wish we had won. i'm not going to minimize it. i'm not going to sugarcoat it. >> but what happened? >> it was a loss based on a confluence of events, a perfect storm, if you will, of so many different factors in a particular district on a particular day. and those factors will not be operative in every district we need to win. on the days we need to win them. this is the loss of a battle in a war. just as the republicans lost a battle in new york 26 in a war. they'll have good days. we'll have good days. at the end of the day, people are going to vote for the party that's pushing for job creation not the party that's obstructing job creation. >> you know well how this works, when kathy hokele, the democrat you just mentioned, when she won the seat, a lot of democrats and publicly said what do we need to do differently or do wrong? are you telling democrats in
tough districts don't worry, don't do anything wrong, or do they need to adjust and learn a lesson from this? >> it's certainly not my style to tell anyone not to worry. i am paid to worry. we're not going to win elections by optimism. we win them with a cold-blooded, clear-eyed plan. i think republicans ought to take the same lesson from this election. people are not too fond of incumbents. the bad news for us is that our candidate was treated as an incumbent and the good news for us is there are many more republicans that have to defend seats going into the cycle than we do. at the end of the day, i would not call the 2012 election based on what happened yesterday in brooklyn and queens, 40,000 voters. >> the winner of that one special election says to president obama this is a referendum and this is just a down payment. tell him why you think he's wrong? >> again, i think there was a confluence of events. 33% of the president disapproval. that's 33% disapproval on a congressional district in one day.
>> isn't it worse than that in many parts of the country? you make a very key point here. you say the president's disapproval rating there in new york city. it's down in new york city, but if you look elsewhere in the country, if you look in white rural america, i was looking at the polling in the midwest and out in the west, key areas for the democrats, both in the senate and as you try to take back the house, the president's numbers in that part of the country, those parts of the country are lower than they are in new york city. >> i'm not going to quibble with you, they are. the question is where will they be next year? if this special election was in november of 2012, i think the white house would have to be far more worried and concerned than now. there was a confluence of events. you had cultural issues and disagreements on u.s./israeli relations and those disagreements don't necessarily play out in other districts throughout the country. you had disagreements on marriage equality. there were a confluence of different events that came together, converged on this
district. it was a perfect storm we couldn't prevail, but we'll stay focused on our strategy. we're not going to change our strategy based on a moment in time. >> and if the president's numbers don't go up between now and then? i assume you'd be willing to admit that nancy pelosi will not be the speaker and that the senate democratic majority would be in jeopardy? >> look, i take it one district at a time, one day at a time. we're not focused on who the speaker is going to be and what the president's numbers are going to be, because quite honestly, that's out of my control. what's in my control, number one, do the candidates have the mechanics and the financing and the message that they need? number two, if republicans are going to continue to obstruct job creation and small business growth in this economy are we effectively holding them accountable and responsible for the obstructionism? and if we're right on number one and we're right on number two, i feel confident that the house will continue to be in play. the house is in play even today after yesterday's special election. >> but isn't it fair to say that
history proves number three especially when the democrat -- when the president is an incumbent that your party -- your party -- will rise or fall based on his numbers? >> we're going to -- well, the numbers are where they are today. but we'll see what happens with those numbers over the next several months and into next year. >> steve israel is the chairman of the democratic congressional campaign committee, sir, thanks for your time tonight. >> thank you, john. still to come, nasa's big brand-new rocket. will it ever get off the drawing board? and he's america's most controversial sheriff, he's accused of racial profiling in his zeal on illegal immigration. sheriff joe arpaio, next. possibilities are everywhere. multiply them with the premier rewards gold card from american express. with triple membership rewards points on airfare,
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he calls himself america's toughest sheriff. critics call him a racial profiler and accuse him of stoking anti-immigrant sentiment and republican presidential candidates, well, they just call him or swing by for a visit. maricopa county sheriff joe arpaio is with us tonight fresh from a meeting with republican candidate michele bachmann. did she ask for your endorsement? >> she came by and we had a nice talk, i'm sure he'd like my endorsement. romney called me last night.
governor perry last week. i met with cain, and i talked with them and it's nice to meet with them. >> let's go through some of the issues, we'll see where you end up. in the debate congresswoman bachmann was asked this -- the debate a week or so ago, she was asked this hypothetical, let's suppose we get to the point you want to get, the border is secured and the illegal immigrants are not coming over in big numbers anymore and then what do you do about the numbers of illegal immigrants that are already here? i know, i've met you, we've talked over the years, i know you're a round them up and throw them out. >> it depends on how long they've lived here and if they have a criminal record, all those things have to be taken into play. >> is that tough enough to get your blessing? >> you know, we do our thing here. we just locked up 24 more last night. everybody can say secure the border. why do they have to say first? yeah, first. and then they'll go into the interior and lock up those that are here illegally? no, we have to hit it from the border in and also from the interior.
i wish they would take the first out of that secure the border, and say let's lock them up in the interior of the united states like we have done, my office. >> well, you mentioned governor perry called. he, of course, is the governor of texas, another border state, a longer border than you have. one of the groups that is constantly critical of you is the national council of la raza, and governor perry spoke to them a while back and took note of the law in arizona and had this to say. >> the arizona law that was passed, you know, it may be right for arizona, it ain't exactly right for texas. >> can you endorse a guy that doesn't like the arizona immigration law? >> well, yeah, the 1070, you know about that, we've been locking them up without the 1070. listen, i'm sure he's been using his texas rangers and dps to patrol the border because the feds won't do it. he's talking as a governor of texas, not as a president of the united states.
>> well, another thing he has done as governor, it was a debate nationally, president obama wanted to do it as president, was give in-state college tuition benefits to children of illegal immigrants, that's governor perry's position. the woman you just met with, she took issue with that in our debate the other night. listen here -- >> we were clearly sending a message to young people, regardless of what the sound of their last name is, that we believe in you. that if you want to live in the state of texas and you want to pursue citizenship, that we're going to allow you the opportunity to be contributing members in the state of texas and not be a drag on the state. >> and i think that the american way is not to give taxpayer subsidized benefits to people who have broken our laws or here in the united states illegally. that is not the american way. >> does it help or hurt your cause, sheriff, if a state offers tuition benefits, other state assistance, taxpayer money, to illegal immigrants or their children? >> well, that dream act is a big
problem. i have to go on the part of it that if you violate the law, regardless of the circumstances, you're here illegally, you have to get out of this country. so, i would side with that. but i'm not going to talk -- i'm not going to second-guess the governor of texas right now. i mean, you know, he can change his attitude, too. i talked with him for 20 minutes, maybe i can sway him on certain situations regarding illegal immigration. >> well, let me give you one more contrast. you were a romney guy back in 2008. your home state senator, john mccain, wasn't too thrilled with that. i remember those days, i don't want to dwell into past history, but you were a governor romney guy in 2008, and he took issue with one of governor perry's position the other night. here it is. >> with regards to illegal immigration, of course we'd build a fence, and, of course, we do not give in-state tuition credits to people who have come here illegally. >> the idea that you're going to
build a wall from brownsville to el paso and go left for another 800 miles to tijuana is just not reality. what you have to haveto have is boots on the ground. >> so, help me out. where is sheriff joe, as we have this conversation tonight, perry's called, romney's called, he was your guy last time, bachmann just came in for a personal visit, you said you met with mr. cain or spoke to him as well, who is it going to be? >> maybe i ought to run for president. i'm going to iowa friday, been to new hampshire. i'm just joking. but do you know what, if you want to build a fence, okay. but when you hop over it, you should go to jail. that's my problem with all these guys saying build a fence. what happens when you hop the fence? you put them in jail. you don't bring them back across the border. so, that's my philosophy on the fence. >> help me understand where we are in the politics. you have your critics and many are watching why and i'll get the angry e-mails why do you put the guy on tv?
if you look at the statistics the administration gives you, they say number one more boots on the ground. number two, they say there are fewer people coming across, number three they say they are deporting more people than they ever did in the bush administration, so the administration would say it is making progress in this fight. but i was at a tea party forum the other day, and if you talk to tea party voters, boy, if you listen to them you would think they are coming across by the tens of thousands an hour. listen to this -- >> you want to bring the jobs back to america, let's start exporting all the illegal aliens here going after the employers and saving the jobs for americans, because we can already put over 4 million people back to work immediately by just going after the employers and making the fine sticks and not slap them on the wrist and let them do it again. >> is the administration right when it says in a high unemployment economy that they are not wanting to come across as much and the situation is better than three or four years ago?
>> we lock them up every day. we go into the workplaces, locked up over 500 and hit 45 different businesses and most of the people there working have false identification. we don't have any problems locking up people coming into our county, my office, over 50,000 we have investigated, arrested, in the jails and on our streets. so, what is this that they're not coming across? we're doing it. we're just a little old sheriff's office. >> maybe that phone call's another one trying to sneak in after the conversation with congressman bachmann. let me close with this and it's t-ball for you, i guess, but what value would it be for a republican presidential candidate do you think to have sheriff joe's endorsement in arizona? >> i don't know. you got to ask them. they're all calling me. i have four guys running for president a few years ago. they all lost when they visited me in my tent city jail, so why do they keep coming asking for my endorsement? i don't know. i must be doing something right. it's not because of my looks. >> when you're ready to make that pick, sheriff joe, we hope
you'll give us a call, we'll keep in touch as the campaign unfolds. >> thank you. challenger ronald reagan asked a simple question as he roared to victory in 1980. are you better off now than you were four years ago? well, your answer today to that same question says a lot about president obama's re-election odds. where and next the latest outrage by mexico's drug cartels. met an old man at the top asked him if he had a secret and the old man stopped and thought and said: free 'cause that's how it ought to be my brother
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welcome back. here's the latest news you need to know right now and the first story comes with this warning, even though we've blurred the image you're about to see, it is very disturbing. mexican drug cartels left two mutilated bodies hanging from a pedestrian bridge in nuevo laredo along the u.s./texas border. they used social networks to denounce the cartel and, quote, this will happen to all of those posting funny things on the internet, end quote. in libya, the interim leadership has given civilians
48 hours to leave bani walid, a statement from a gadhafi spokesman said, quote, we'll continue to fight. today, nasa unveiled plans for a new rocket that will be even more powerful than the saturn 5 which launched a man to the moon. they call it the space launch system and it will carry nasa's orion spacecraft, the replacement for the space shuttle. the price tag, get this, $18 billion. the first launch scheduled for 2017. next, today's answer to a question ronald reagan posed 31 years ago. and it's bad news for the current president.
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[♪...] >> male announcer: now, for a limited time, your companion flies free, plus save up to 65%. call 1-800-sandals. conditions apply. if i were briefing president obama on our new poll tonight i'd start the conversation this way, well, sir, there's a little good news and more than a little bad news. on the plus side, key elements of his job plan do have significant backing. 74% of americans, for example, favor federal aid to help states hire teachers and police and firefighters.
and 64% of americans favor federal spending to build roads, bridges, and schools, so short term maybe some leverage in those negotiations with house republicans. but long term, bleak hardly does justice to describe the mood of the country. let's start here. are you better off than you were three years ago? 32% say yes. but 58% say no. that's a bad number, a very bad number for a president about to ask for four more years. let's go behind the numbers and their meaning with cnn contributor and democratic strategist paul begala and republican political consultant jim dike. paul, you were with bill clinton when he ran for re-election and he had a much better story to tell than president obama does now. when you have that many people in the country saying i'm not better off, is that not how they judge an incumbent? >> he needs to have a choice and not a referendum. president clinton run a referendum. senator dole ran a fine campaign and an honorable man but the country wanted to keep their president and that ended the inquiry. it next election has to be a choice and not a referendum. it's to ask a better question,
will you be better off with a republican president who wants to end social security entirely because it's unconstitutional -- >> you're saying perry is the nominee, are you ceding that? >> or mitt romney that would end medicare and preserve tax breaks for oil companies or end benefits for teachers, it's not a referendum, it's got to be a choice. >> i see you are loaded to go. but do you get to the choice, i understand what the point you are trying to make. but the numbers in our poll, are you angry about the way things are going in the country today, 72% say they're angry. are you scared about the way things are going in the country today? 71% say yes. when people are that frightened,
should be asking the republican this, but it's hard if you're the incumbent or democrat or an republican or an independent or a martian, if that's the mood of the electorate, how do you ask for four more years? >> the main question they're asking is where are the jobs. the president promised to change washington. he promised to change the tone and the way things operate. over 380 bills passed by a totally democratic-controlled congress signed by the president, trillions of dollars in stimulus, a total restructuring of our health care, one-seventh of our economy, regulations through dodd-frank, all of this costing the american people additional money and no job creation. stimulus has been a failure. the regulations are holding up the development of new jobs because businesses don't know what's going to happen next. they're petrified by the uncertainty. >> the question, paul, you would concede, you have conceded, it's a tough environment for the president and you've also given him some advice, and i want to show our viewers -- identify just want to show our viewers where he's going. this is a 2008 map here, blue, obama.
red, mccain. this is where he's been since he gave the job speeches, north carolina, virginia, not democratic states, he wants to keep them. iowa, a bellwether in presidential politics. if you go back to his travel since april, look, this is pretty obvious, these are almost all official presidential trips and they are almost all political battleground states, from the perspective is he doing the right thing. he's in a ditch. the country is in a bad mood. is he doing the right thing? >> absolutely. in terms of where he's going -- >> and what he's saying. >> and what he's saying. where he's going, absolutely, it would be great to pick up the states that george bush carried, he doesn't need to, he won a big victory with the 28 states. >> if the election were held tomorrow, would he hold north carolina and virginia and colorado? >> i think yes, he's a spectacular campaigner and his chief strategist will be henny youngman, and everything has to be about compared to the republicans, attack, attack, attack, contrast, contrast, contrast. >> obama 2012, compared to what? >> the american people are exhausted of his politicking. of his rhetorical flourish of
his speeches. there's a total -- they no longer believe it. if you look at a recent poll that shows they believe he's a weaker leader, independents, hispanics, important groups that the president has to have in all these states, three don't -- they are not going to support him unless they see results. the president can no longer threaten congress and bang on the table, it's not going to work. >> to that point, you made your mark in this business because you're a words guy and you're a bare knuckled strategist when you need to be but you're a communicator, and jim's right, any president gives a joint address -- joint session of congress, they usually move the numbers, if it's only temporary, they move the numbers. this president this time did not move the numbers. his disapproval is at an all-time high, but why is he -- why is he -- when he was elected
even republicans conceded masterful communicator, walks on water. why? >> ronald reagan a pretty good communicator also had numbers about like barack obama's, too, because words matter, but shakespeare says action is eloquence, and the president has a jobs package that people really like, particularly independents especially like and now the republicans who control the house are in the position of either passing it and god forbid helping america which seems to be the last thing on their mind or failing to pass it and giving president obama a cudgel to run against, the same way harry truman did. >> do those numbers if you're speaker boehner and you're leader cantor, you quibble with the president wants to pay for it by raising some taxes and you don't want to raise, and i get that the republicans won't give him that, but in terms of getting something done, when you see the numbers, 64% increase spending, road bridges and schools. 74%, give money to states, which is something, you know, a lot of republicans say no way, stimulus two, we're not doing it again, 74% that means a lot of republicans say do that. does that give the president some leverage?
>> the president said he's not going to negotiate. it's all or nothing, take my bill and leave it. i'm going to campaign all across the country, although it looks a little more like target states than all across the country. house republicans have already passed important reforms, changes, economic growth, that sit in the senate. the president wanted bipartisan support for his bill, what he's gotten is bipartisan opposition. senate democrats have said this isn't going to fly. either on the stimulus side, neither on the tax side, the pay-fors are unacceptable, he's got a bipartisan problem on capitol hill. senate democrats oppose him and house republicans oppose him. >> i don't think they would tell if you you talk to them that they are posed to this. >> they don't like -- they don't like some of t got to negotiate. you guys stay right put, not let you go. next, the republican front-runner visits virginia and boros a line from a man he hopes
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change is a buzz word in every election cycle and this time it's a theme the republicans say belonged to them. >> i know it is time for a change in this country. and when i'm talking about change, i'm not talking about the rhetoric of change. i'm talking about a record of change. and i've got that record. >> so what slogan can the democratic incumbent rely on and are all republicans comfortable with the kind of change represented by their current presidential frontrunner, governor rick perry? let's continue the conversation with paul begala and jim dike. if president obama ran on hope and change last time, and i don't mean this to be flip, there's not a lot of hope in the country right now. the economic anxiety has people
in a funk and most people don't believe washington has changed but if it has, it's changed for the worse. what does he do? what is it? >> as we said before the break, he's got to go to the contrast. he does have now a republican house which is -- you think barack obama sun popular 40-45. republican house is like negative 12 or something, really bad. he has republican governors in key states now who have come in since him, like rick scott in florida, governor walker in wisconsin, who are desperately unpopular. he can go around the country and say -- this is what they want to do. abolish medicare and social security. how many jobs will that create, governor perry, governor romney, congresswoman bachmann? how many jobs will it create to shut down the department of environmental protection, as if cutting cancer and asthma will create jobs? he can take the fight to them, which is what he needs to do
>> that's a perfect segway because the american people are realizing that government doesn't create jobs and that's what barack obama promised and that's what he spent trillions of dollars on. it hadn't worked. it's failed. the republican nominee, i suspect rick perry or mitt romney, will have a record on job creation so if the president wants to contrast his record on job creation with theirs, that's a happy contrast we're willing to have but the fact of the matter is, it will be a referendum on the president's failed leadership. >> i want to talk about the republican race in a second. last time a democratic president was defeated was jimmy carter. disapproval rating, obama, carter, about the same. the funk in the country, i think, is the same, maybe worse now but for different reasons. you had iran back then and a tough economy. you have a tough economy now. in a normal environment would you expect a democratic challenger? some other dynamic in the race? somebody like ross perot?
>> yes. president obama has solidified his party and he's been a terrific leader and democrats across the board, we all whine and complain as i do on the air, they are united behind him and that's an enormous advantage. the democrats learned a lesson from 1980 when they challenged president carter and i think weakened him in his re-election or when pat buchanan did that to president bush sr. so i don't think he has worries on that front but you might see a third-party candidacy just because the mood of the country is so angry as it was in 1992. and ross perot, he got 19 million votes. despite being a little eccentric for some -- >> special elections are snapshots. if the president has democrats in his camp so strong behind him you have to ask why the democrats have lost a seat that have been controlled by democrats back to 1923. >> that's only 90 years. >> it's a curious thing for the democrats. he has problems with his coalition. major problems with independents who don't believe in his policies anymore. they like him personally and they want him to succeed, but if they throw that away -- i was going to ask about governor
perry. >> i'll save the question for another day because where we are on time. steve israel, the chairman of the congressional democratic campaign, he says, snapshot! to jim's point, some special elections mean nothing and some mean more than others. 90 years in the heart of new york city, if the democrats can't win there, ask the labor unions to help him out at the end, so from a candidate perspective, a problem? >> absolutely. you have a chest pain. could be heart attack? could be heartburn. no matter what, cut back on the fats, jog more. there's only one sensible way a party reacts to this. there's only one to run and that's scared. >> is it the president? >> no, it's not the president. it's lots of things. the economy, some local matters that congressman israel talked about. but it is true that steve israel told you this, there was an upstate in the same di